Bob Marley: “Redemption Song”

Bob MarleyFebruary is African American Heritage Month and WERS AT NIGHT is honoring one artist or one song every day this month that helped contribute to social consciousness, political responsibility, or civil rights. At WERS, we believe that these songs are always bigger than just entertainment; music can be used to drive a movement or even motivate a nation.

Today we will be honoring Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.”

As we all know, Bob Marley is a legend. A part of what makes him a legend is the way his music could make people feel. Some reggae artists these days only make party music and that’s fine but Bob had the talent and the passion to do all of it. His music not only creates this sense of relaxation but it can also create this sense of awareness and inspiration.

Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” was one of his most popular songs ever. That is saying a lot for a man with an amazing catalog. In 1980, Bob Marley and the Wailers released this song at a time when Jamaica was going through plenty of changes to their political and economic infrastructure. Many other countries in the world were going through turmoil as well. Bob Marley sings: “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, None but ourselves can free our mind. Have no fear for atomic energy, Cause none of them can stop the time.” With these words he’s trying to motivate the people of Jamaica and people all over the world to pay attention to what’s going on in their countries. He is explaining to people that just sitting by and waiting for political revolutions to happen aren’t going to be enough, you have to be active and you have to be inspirational. This song was great for showing people that the power to succeed comes from within and nowhere else.

Bob Marley had plenty of inspirational songs but “Redemption Song” seems to be the one that registers with most people. This song has been used at inspirational luncheons, rallies, meetings, etc. around the world since it was released. Join us in honoring this song and celebrating African American Heritage Month.

By Malcolm Gray

If you liked this, check out:
Blackstar: “Respiration”
Jimmy Cliff: “Vietnam”

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